Mr. Darcy in modern-day New York?
May 19, 2013 2:10 PM   Subscribe

Among other things, I enjoy books by Jane Austen (and films of such books). I also enjoy "fish out of water" stories where someone finds themselves in a totally foreign/alien place or time and has to figure it out. I discovered the miniseries Lost in Austen, which combines these interests perfectly. What else might I enjoy?

Finding Lost in Austen was such a nice surprise, and it got me wondering if there were other books or movies that feature this combination. What I like about Austen is the wit, the romance, and the period manners. I like the fish out of water stories for the fresh look at familiar places or situations OR the familiar person in a totally new situation tropes. When well done, they also offer good opportunities for sight and other gags.

Netflix suggested Kate & Leopold. It was OK, not great.

I am not necessarily looking for things explicitly Austen-related, although those would be nice.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions!
posted by ohio to Media & Arts (18 answers total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The Europeans by Henry James.
posted by caek at 2:31 PM on May 19, 2013

Have you exploredvthevworks of Jasper Fforde?
posted by BenPens at 2:41 PM on May 19, 2013

Are you familiar with Outlander?
posted by something something at 2:46 PM on May 19, 2013 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Time and Again by Jack Finney is about a 20th-century New Yorker who finds himself transported to 1882.
posted by scratch at 2:54 PM on May 19, 2013 [2 favorites]

The movie Enchanted might be of interest. It's better than it looks.
posted by bq at 2:59 PM on May 19, 2013 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Yep, check out Jasper Fforde's "The Eyre Affair."
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:21 PM on May 19, 2013

Yes I think you would enjoy the Outlander series, and if you do you won't run out of reading materials for a very long time as Gabaldon is quite prolific. Good luck!
posted by onlyconnect at 3:41 PM on May 19, 2013

Best answer: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is absolutely spectacular - the biggest Austen fan I know loved it and it mixes mundane and fantastic elements. I just have a feeling you will like it. Because it is wonderful.
posted by selfmedicating at 4:35 PM on May 19, 2013

Bridget Jones's Diary. The books and the movie.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:28 PM on May 19, 2013

Best answer: I also loved Lost in Austen (frankly, I love everything Austen) and did NOT like Kate & Leopold, so it sounds like we may have similar taste. Here are a few suggestions of movies/shows that present a character who is out of time or out of place and trying to cope with the new environment - with a little romance mixed in.
Pleasantville transported modern day teens (Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon) back to the 1950s.
In Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, the title character isn't transported through time, but it is a period piece (1930s London) in which a recently unemployed and destitute woman is mistakenly hired as the assistant for a glamorous (though not terribly successful) actress.
Drop Dead Diva may surprise you - it's about a supermodel who suddenly dies and manages to be sent back - but is dropped into the body of a super-smart, but socially challenged, plus-sized lawyer. It's streaming on Netflix.
Time After Time has H. G. Wells following Jack the Ripper to modern times (well, it was modern in 1979). It's a thriller, with a lot of comedy and a little romance mixed in.

I also recommend the Outlander series up until the latest installment, which just felt recycled. But there were six great books before it.
posted by kbar1 at 11:08 PM on May 19, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks everyone! I've looked through all the links and reviews and some of these look like really great books / movies that I don't think I would have encountered on my own. I marked as best answers the ones I'm going to try first.

And it looks like I have to try Outlander. Generally I'm not a fan of romance per se (I actually like the romance in Austen because it is often so unromantic - how many pounds a year does he have again?) but I'm willing to give it a go. Thanks again!
posted by ohio at 2:08 AM on May 20, 2013

Best answer: Oh, man, I can't believe nobody has suggested it yet -- Shannon Hale's two Austenland books. They're a little different in that it's a sort of Austen-themed themepark, but it fits the fish out of water etc. and they're excellent. (There is a huge subgenre of Austeniana, and in my opinion Hale is among the best of the bunch.)

Also, probably a better fish-out-of-water fit -- Connie Willis's time traveling historians. To Say Nothing of the Dog has the lightest touch and is the happiest, but they're all great.
posted by pie ninja at 5:07 AM on May 20, 2013

Cold Comfort Farm has a 'modern' girl out of funds decide to live with her backwoods relatives (with high plans to Do Them Good), and is hysterical.

Also (as an aside, in case you haven't discovered it) Margaret Oliphant's Miss Marjoribanks is the most Austen-y non-Austen book I've ever read.
posted by Mchelly at 5:15 AM on May 20, 2013

Everything by Georgette Heyer.
posted by Skyanth at 6:25 AM on May 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

To Say Nothing Of The Dog, time-traveling academic goes to Edwardian England, is completely out of his element.
posted by The Whelk at 2:21 PM on May 20, 2013

I haven't read it yet, but A Breath of Eyre got pretty excellent reviews. It's pretty much a YA spin on the Lost in Austen idea of falling into a book -- although this one concerns, well, Jane Eyre. The sequel, A Touch of Scarlet, just came out a couple of months ago.
posted by itsamermaid at 6:12 AM on May 21, 2013

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